Friday, April 21, 2017

Writing a book is like solving a crossword puzzle. The words have to fit or you spend all your time erasing wrong choices. That's not to say first drafts aren't a mess, but the more you can figure out the first time through, the less complicated re-writes are going to be.  

I've actually added a few words to my second book, Coming Home. Yeah! I'm not going to tell you how many, because it's pretty pathetic, but for me it is progress.

And I figured out a plot problem. How do I keep my heroine in town long enough for stuff to happen between her and the hero? In Beyond the Horizon, Katie's car broke down and she was forced to spend time with Josh. While car problems are a common occurrence in most people's world, I didn't want to use that again. I've been racking my brain trying to figure it out. And, of course, the answer came to me in the middle of the night. Luckily, I remembered it the next morning, which doesn't always happen.

Now, all I have to do is write it. But, that's really the hard part. Last night after working at my day job, I went to bed at 7:30. That's how tired I am. I am taking Monday off, so here's to hoping I will sit my butt in chair and write. 

Friday, April 14, 2017

FRIDAY STIR FRY - Nice People Work Here

This Friday, I want to dedicate my blog to all the wonderful people I've met in bars. I don't mean the occasional sloppy drunk, but the people who work in bars and restaurants. The ones who can put a smile on my face and a beer in my hand.
I've been divorced for seventeen years now and am still single. Instead of sitting at home by myself all the time, I seek out nice bars to hang out in a few times a week. I've called several different places 'home'. The first was Applebee's. I made friends with all the bartenders and most of the wait staff. One in particular – Johnnie – became more like a son to me. We could talk to each other about anything. I would give him advice and he would do the same for me. Unfortunately, he moved away and I moved on to another hangout.
That's the nice thing about bars. They are kind of like churches. One on every corner. You just have to find the right one for you.
The next place, I not only made friends with the staff, but also many of the regulars. We became family. I still hold several of them near and dear to my heart. But, alas, I left there when the new owners and I didn't see eye to eye about the treatment of the staff.
My current home is Bair's. It's a little sports bar and grill located on the edge of the largest college in town. Everybody has welcomed me with a smile, and once in a while a hug (which is nice). In fact, the bartender last night gave me the idea for this post. Mikaela is awesome. She knows who she is and she is confident in what she does. She has even helped me with housework, since my knees limit me. She calls me 'dad'. Don't ask.

Most of these hard working people I've met and made friends with are twenty somethings, going to college, and just getting started in life. They are interesting and fun. Or as my parents would say "They are the salt of the earth." Talking to them keeps me young. So, as long as I can climb up on a bar stool, I'll keep making friends.

Friday, April 7, 2017

FRIDAY STIR FRY - Writing and Worry

Recently, a fellow writer friend asked me if I was okay because I hadn't been posting on this blog. Bless her heart. I told her I was tired and the political climate right now had me upset. Perhaps you are thinking what does that have to do with writing? Well, as long as I'm worried about my future – when can I retire, will Social Security be there, and what about health insurance – it is difficult to think of anything to write. Inspiration is hard to come by when you are mired in a cloud of doubt. I guess I really shouldn't worry. Trump will probably get us all blown up anyway.
I did sign up for April Camp NaNo. My intent is to finish the first draft of my second book. But first I needed to read through what I've written so far. I had to get back into the character's heads and remind myself of what I'd plotted out and decide where I need to go. I should finish reading it today. Here's to hoping I can put aside my worries long enough to return to my true passion – writing a story.   

And on a bright note, a co-worker read my book Beyond The Horizon and LOVED IT! Made me very happy. 

Friday, February 3, 2017


Please welcome another talented author friend of mine, Samantha Holt. She writes wonderful historical romances that will captivate you from the very beginning. Her new release, When A Rogue Loves A Woman, debuts next week. Enjoy this preview and be sure and enter the Rafflecopter give-a-way at the end of this post.

When a Rogue Loves a Woman

Rogues of Redmere book 2

Notorious rogue, Lord Nathaniel Kingsley always tended to leap without thinking. Becoming a smuggler, adopting a sheep, getting engaged to Miss Patience Grey….

Patience has no need for a fiancĂ©, or a husband. For once in her life, she wants to prove she’s just as good as a man and she does not need Nathaniel Kingsley getting in her way. With her brother injured, it is up to her to continue her family’s work…and that means tracking down a French spy and ensuring said spy will turn.

Unfortunately, no one believes she can do it alone. Which is where Nathaniel comes in.

Nate is happy to be of service. Why pass up the opportunity to repay an old friend, especially with a little intrigue along the way? Find the spy, play escort to Patience, return home to continue smuggling. Easy.

Or at least it would be if the stubborn Patience would let him do his job. The breeches-wearing woman is determined to do it all alone and, he has to admit, there’s something quite distracting about a woman in men’s clothes.

Can he keep his attention from her long enough to complete their mission and persuade Patience to let him do his job and protect her? A job he’s beginning to find he’s enjoying a lot more than he thought he would…

Available from Amazon and all other vendors for 99c for release week.

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      “There would have been many a heartbroken lass had you really been engaged,” Drake said. His grin grew wicked. “I was looking forward to offering my comfort and condolences.”

Nate shook his head and ignored his friend’s jest. Instead he turned his attention to the ale in his hand. It would be his last for a while. He’d need a clear head for what was to come, especially if he was to keep that minx under control. If her own mother could not make her wear a dress, what chance did he have?

Either way, he was looking forward to the challenge. Smuggling was all well and good but they had only gone out once in the past month and all had been quiet. No excitement to be had. He was rather looking forward to the chance to indulge in some espionage and adventure.

Of course, Jacob Grey was aware of their illicit activities. Being a government agent had meant they had helped him before. He was one of the few residents of Penshallow who quite understood who was behind all the smuggling that took place in their small fishing village. Most thought Knight the face of it—the big, brooding, scarred hulk of a man opposite who spoke only when absolutely necessary.

At present, Knight’s attention was on something near the bar. Nate flicked a glance over but could see nothing of interest. Only the usual overly drunk patrons gathered while Louisa, the innkeeper, worked her hardest to keep up with demand.

Other patrons littered the room, gathered around small tables. Some had cards in their hands while all had drinks. The Ship Inn was not the most savory of places but it was out of the way and the food was good. Not to mention Louisa was uncannily good at ensuring the customs men never came near the place. She had saved their skin many times and they repaid her help generously, ensuring she had a good supply of excellent French wine.

“You were a damned fool, signing up for this,” Nate’s brother said, thrusting a finger at him.

“What was I to do? You were off enjoying yourself with Hannah. Far too much it seems.” His brother’s gaze darkened and Nate immediately ceased any idea of talking of Red’s fiancĂ©e. Hannah was currently installed in lodgings in the village while they awaited the license for their marriage and to finalize all the details. His brother was, unbelievably, utterly in the love with the woman. It was not such much the woman he had fallen for that surprised Nate but that his brother had the ability to fall so heavily for her. Red had always been too busy to think of love or even marriage.

Drake leaned in. The captain fixed Red with a slight smile on his lips. “Face it, Red. While you were distracted by petticoats, Nate held down the fort. I don’t blame him for offering to help, after all, are we not in this to help the crown?”

“Since when are you so noble?” Red demanded.

“Since I have a pocket full of coin,” Drake said smugly. “Things have been going uncommonly well of late. I don’t see why Nate cannot help Jacob Grey and be back in time for our next outing.”

“Uncommonly well?” Nate’s brother lifted a brow. “After Knight’s illness and the storm that near tore your ship in half, you were complaining of curses. Now you think things are going uncommonly well?”

Knight glowered. The giant of a man sat with his arms folded, a great scowl etched upon his face that in some lights looked as though it could be made of granite. Were it not for being friends with him, Nate would give him a wide berth. The man looked like trouble and, potentially, he was. No one really knew anything about him apart from the fact he was useful muscle and a damned hard worker. Though Nate suspected there was something more under that silent exterior. What that was, however, he was not sure.

“It was not an illness,” Knight protested.

Drake laughed. “You vomited on my boots, Knight. What would you call it?”

Knight fell back into silent mode and glowered some more.

About the Author
Samantha Holt

Samantha is a full-time author who lives in England with her twins girls and a dachshund called Duke. When not writing, she loves to explore stately homes and castles around the country.

Find Samantha on her website



Friday, January 27, 2017

I've been giving a lot of thought lately about the direction this blog should take. I think I would like it to be more than just my rambling thoughts. The problem is, I'm not an expert at anything, except - according to my son - griping.

I've had many jobs in my life, but not a profession. Well, except the few years I was a dental assistant. But, let's face it, who wants to read a blog about that?

I've worked in a Hallmark shop, a hot dog stand, a thrift store, and a factory. I've worked at Bass Pro Shops - headquartered in my home town - twice. For the last seventeen years, a government desk job, pushing papers. I've had flea market booths.

None of those jobs make me qualified to hand out wisdom or advice about anything.

Of course, I've written and published a book. One book. Well, two if you count my short story collection. By no means does that make me an expert.

If you have any suggestions for this blog, I would greatly appreciate it.

Friday, January 6, 2017

FRIDAY STIR FRY - Big Plans and Lists and Such

So, last week I promised I would let you know what resolutions I have already given up on. I actually didn't officially make any. I've muddled things over in my head, but I haven't written anything down. If you have ideas in your brain, but nobody is there to hear them, do they still make noise?

I have hopes. Yeah, let's go with that.

  • I hope I can finish and publish another book. I have three drafts. Surely I can complete one of them? Of course to do that, I will need to actually write.
  • I hope I will write. 
  • I hope I can start a freelance career. I got the idea a few months ago when I wasn't sure about the future of my day job. I've spread the word some, but I still have a lot to learn and obviously I need clients.
  • Get back to being consistent with posting to this blog.
That's pretty much it. In order to accomplish any of these hopes, I will need to be less lazy. Which reminds me, I need a nap.

What are your hopes this year? I would love to know.